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Accident Case
SC hikes fine, reduces sentence
R. Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, December 11
In an unusual verdict, the Supreme Court today raised the fine tenfold to Rs 20,000 in an accident case, but reduced the six-month sentence to the period already undergone, observing that it would be better if the convict was made to compensate the victim’s family than confining him in prison.

The convict, Puttaswamy of Karnataka, had been charged under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC for causing the death of a seven-year-old girl on account of rash and negligent driving of his tractor.

In his appeal against the verdicts of the trial court and the Karnataka High Court, Puttaswamy said he had reached an out-of-court settlement with the victim’s family and pleaded that the sentence should be set aside in view of this.

Noting that the High Court had already set aside the conviction under Section 279 IPC, an apex court Bench, comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and Markendey Katju said: “…This is one of those cases where instead of confining the appellant in prison, the interest of justice will be better served if he is made to compensate the family of the deceased on account of the loss suffered by them.”

Accordingly, the court upheld the conviction and notwithstanding the agreement arrived at between the two parties, increased the fine from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000 to the parents of the girl and reduced the sentence to the period already undergone, subject to payment of the fine within three weeks.



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